For our purposes adopting OER refers to using open content in it’s original state and using it in a course to replace materials that students were required to purchase. Most often when someone says they are adopting OER it means that they will be replacing a high cost textbook with a free or low cost textbook.
The resources on this page are provided to help faculty and instructional designers work through the process of adopting an open or low cost textbook.
Step 1: Defining your need.
What are the course goals and lesson objectives that the textbook will help students master? As you review OER, you can align the resources with your objectives and lessons to assess suitability and later to identify gaps.
Step 2: Searching for a Textbook- Knowing where to Look
There are a number of high quality open textbooks available in many subject areas and the numbers are growing rapidly. You can view a brief summary of each resource on the Textbooks page. Don’t forget to check out the additional 32 open textbooks listed at the bottom of the page.
Step 3: Keeping Track of your Findings.
We have put together a spreadsheet that will help keep your search results organized. The spreadsheet also provides a space to record your findings on how well the content aligns with your course goals and lesson objectives.
Some additional criteria that you might want to consider as you are making your selection includes:
- Quality of content, literary merit and format
- Favorable reviews
- Permanence/lasting value
- Authority of author
- Scope and depth
- Physical quality
- Formats available: print, CD-ROM, online, etc.
- Reading level and writing style
- Copyright restrictions on modification and reuse
- Cultural relevance
Cultural factors include race, ethnicity, language, nationality, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, income level, and occupation. Ensure that information is relevant to the intended students’ social and cultural contexts. Also, check for ratings, reviews or endorsements of open textbooks and OER by professional societies and organizations.
For more information please refer to the Evaluation Page of this Site.